Should you believe that what you see on TV and social media are
accurate portrayals of events as they really happened?
This young man in the photo above (identified as Nick Sandmann) was waiting for his school group to gather for their bus trip home to Kentucky when he ended up in the middle of a viral news event. Until I began poking around for different versions of this event (mostly on YouTube.Com) I was lead to believe by the initially available video clip that the young man was harassing the older man, identified as Nathan Phillips, an apparent regular to the National Mall who makes annual appearances at this location. I thought, just from the photo, and then from the viral video: "What a rude little smartass." Then I saw another video-clip of nearly the same scene and thought "What rude little kids, they're making fun of the old man. Where are their chaperones?" Then I went digging for more video.
Imagine if you will:
A young man being accosted by someone 'in his face.' A young man being surrounded by a crowd, who has nowhere to go, and is actually afraid. Is it possible that he is a young man who has been taught not to run when confronted or when he feels threatened. Is it possible that this young man smiles when he's nervous or because he knows there are a dozen or more smartphone cameras pointed at him?
Might knowing the circumstances in which the picture was taken alter its message? It's statement?
There are more than a few videos of the above incident to be found which present different interpretations of the events surrounding the popular images of the smiling boy and the chanting old man.
Here are a few videos of the events of that day, all presenting the events differently:
Exactly what happened there? I can't be sure.
Unfortunately, if you weren't there, you don't know and can't answer the question, either. You can't know what you don't know. No matter what happens in real life, if the only available version of 'the events as they unfolded' is what someone else said, wrote, or edited video or audio: you can't be sure what really happened. You just can't.
|This photo of the January 2019 total lunar eclipse was taken by me. But you'll|
have to take my word for it. I was there and you weren't, so ... did it really happen?
But! This way of thinking is also how you end up with 'Truthers' who believe the government flew remote-controlled planes into The World Trade Center in NYC, into a field in PA, and the Pentagon on 9-11. It's thinking like this which gives rise to people who are sure that mankind never landed on the moon or that there was no Holocaust in Nazi Germany.
JM(M)(According to Mr. Phillips, the kid blocked his way and, he told reporter David Begnaud in an interview w/CBSN that he hopes the kid will " ... live a good life and treat people with respect and treat himself with respect. To forgive himself, you know. To forgive others. Treat each other, treat others the way he wanted to be treated.")
UPDATE: (21 Jan., 0430) on the viral "Kid vs. Old man" story:
FINAL UPDATE: A quick search for updates re: this incident will show you that most all aware of this incident have come to believe that the incident was made into something it was not by agenda-driven media outlets and others. The kid(s) from Covington are suing CNN and others ... good on 'em.